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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Civil Society Forum ahead of the Europe-Africa Summit

The Civil Society Forum on the Euro-African Dialogue is the key event of the Portuguese NGDO's project for the Portuguese Presidency of the European Union (EU). It will take place in Lisbon from the 15th to the 17th of November, gathering together civil society representatives from Africa and Europe with the main objective of working towards the construction of a strong shared vision on development for Africa. The Forum will serve as a basis for Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) to voice their main concerns and make recommendations on how to improve the Europe-Africa dialogue, with regards to both its strategic and more concrete dimensions.

The organisation of this event is part of a process that started years ago, being the Cairo Summit of 2000 one of the milestones in the construction of this dialogue. Parallel to this summit, an inter-continental meeting of Civil Society had been organised in Lisbon, to support the search for solutions regarding topics such as the eradication of poverty and impoverishment and the development of social well being, economic and globalisation issues and human rights, democracy, the rule of law and the good management of public affairs.

Considering the evolution of both the international and the regional contexts in the last seven years, this period is seen as an opportunity for CSOs to reflect on past achievements, current constraints and chances, as well as future challenges, and build recommendations aiming at taking concrete steps towards a solid and balanced political dialogue. Therefore, building on previous processes and in line with the priorities of the Portuguese NGDOs Platform for the EU Presidency, the Civil Society Forum will address four main topics:
  • Trade and development;
  • Governance and fragile states;
  • Migration and development;
  • Cooperation issues.
The Forum will be structured into plenary sessions, open to a wide range of participants, as well as several specific workshops, restricted to a more limited number of organisations. Moreover, the opening and closing sessions will be held in conjunction with the Euro-African Parliamentarian Forum organised by the North-South Centre (Council of Europe). The final product of the Forum will combine a proactive and innovative document, regarding Civil Society vision on Euro-African relationships, and key political messages and recommendations related to specific aspects of the Euro-African dialogue tackled during the Forum.

More information at www.plataformaongd.pt

Story by António Raimundo, Project Co-ordinator of the EU Presidency Project

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